Four Generations and Counting
When Alyssa Smith, graduated from Michigan Tech with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering in December of 2015, she did more than receive a diploma. She wrote the latest chapter in a family history that began nearly 90 years ago.
Smith is the latest member of her family to attend Michigan Tech, an odyssey spanning four generations. She is also the third generation of female Tech graduates. Alyssa earned her undergraduate degree in 2014 and her older brother Kealy received a degree in computer and electrical engineering last spring.
The sibling’s family journey began in 1927, when their great-grandfather, Paul Edgar Young, left the University of Toronto and came to Houghton to attend the Michigan College of Mines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering and won three varsity letters in basketball, his final year playing for legendary Tech coach Don Sherman. He also was a member of Theta Tau fraternity.
In those days before the Great Depression, Paul Young began an educational tradition that his son, daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and several in-laws would follow.
Young’s son, Michael, attended Tech from 1961 to 1965 and, like his father before him, majored in mining engineering. Young was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Epsilon and Blue Key. He was also a member of Sigma Rho fraternity and remembers causing a stir during the 1963 Winter Carnival.
“In those days Sig Rho built their statues where the Rozsa Center now stands, next to what was Sherman Gym,” Michael Young said. “The theme was ‘Bygone Buffoonery,’ and we caused quite a controversy on campus by creating a pregnant Statue of Liberty.”
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